Dr Kathrin Zickermann

Centre for History
Burghfield House
Dornoch IV25 3HN

tel: 01847 889621
mob: 07815 590573

Available to talk to the media about

  • The Thirty Years War (1618-1648)
  • Scottish Trade with Northern Europe during the early modern period
  • Shetland's and Orkney's links with the wider world during the early modern period
  • History of the northwestern parts of the Holy Roman Empire, in particular Hamburg, Bremen and Lubeck
  • Scottish Migration to Northern Europe in the early modern period
  • The Merchant Adventurers in Hamburg

In these languages



2011 - Lecturer in History, Centre for History, University of the Highlands and Islands
2010 - 2011 Pearsall Fellowshop in Naval and Maritime History, Institute of Historical Research (Postdoc)
2010 - Ph.D. University of St Andrews
2005 - M.litt History and German Literature, University of Kiel, Germany

Current research

I am currently undertaking two major research projects. The first is entitled 'Complex Identities and Cultural Integration: Alexander Erskein, Arvid Forbes and the Multiethnic Swedish Army of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648)'. This project analyses the multiple identities and loyalties of highranking officers and administrators within the Swedish army and explores the question what service meant to them. This is particularly interesting in the case of Alexander Erskein who was born to Scottish parents in the city of Greifswald in Pommerania and who embarked on a remarkable career within the Swedish military apparatus from a young age. Not only did Erskein become a Swedish resdent in Erfurt and a war commissioner, he was also entrusted with the responsible task of negotiating the Peace of Westphalia on behalf of the Swedish crown. He was later introduced into the Swedish nobility as a reward for his service. Throughout his career Erskein operated in multiple networks which pursued different and sometimes conflicting goals. The projects evaluates Erskein's role and answers the question as to how loyal he was to the Swedish crown.

My second project focuses on the importance of rivers to early modern trade and warfare. It focuses particularly on the rivers Elbe and Weser which linked the cities of Hamburg and Bremen and their hinterland to the North Sea. On the one hand the rivers facilitated migration and communication across territoral borders linking foreign and local communities within the region. At the same time the strategic importance of the rivers prompted conflict when powers like Denmark-Norway, Sweden and the Emperor sought to expand or defend their influence in Northern Europe. The project explores the positive and negative impact of the rivers on the indigenous population and foreign Dutch, English and Scottish communities who settled in the northwestern parts of the Holy Roman Empire.

Selected publications

Kathrin Zickermann, Across the German Sea: Early Modern Scottish Connections With the Wider Elbe-Weser Region, (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

Kathrin Zickermann, 'Scottish Merchant Families in the Early Modern Period', Northern Studies, Vol. 45 (2013), 100-118.

Kathrin Zickermann, 'The Scottish Fisheries and the Northwest German Territories During the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries', Journal of the North Atlantic, Special Volume No. 4 (2013).

Kathrin Zickermann, 'The Battle of Wittstock 1636: Conflicting Reports on a Swedish Victory in Germany', Northern Studies, Vol. 43 (2012), 71 - 109. Co-authored with Steve Murdoch and Adam Marks.

Kathrin Zickermann, 'Britteannia is my patria': Scotsmen and the 'British' Community in Hamburg', in Alexia Grosjean and Steve Murdoch (eds.), Scottish Communities Abroad in the Early Modern Period (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 249-273.